Clean Energy and Jobs for Minnesota

Letter from the Executive Director

Pressconference1One of our youth climate leaders, Cole Norgaarden, recently addressed a crowd of over 30 advocates working on advancing Minnesota’s clean energy leadership. I was struck by his confidence and articulate comments, especially since they epitomize why our work is so urgent and important. He told the crowd “apologies cannot cut carbon…so let’s prevent the need to say it in the first place. Let’s get to work on the change that needs to come.” Youth like Cole have been willing to speak up for the future they want, whether it is marching in Washington D.C. or visiting with legislators at the Minnesota Capitol.

Earlier this month, we announced our leadership role in a newly launched campaign of more than 30 of the state’s most-respected energy, climate, labor, business, religious, and youth groups. The Minnesota Clean Energy & Jobs campaign was created to answer Governor Dayton’s call to establish and advance Minnesota’s clean energy future. We recently kicked off the campaign with a press conference, featuring our YEA! MN co-chair Katie-Mercer Taylor, to announce a suite of groundbreaking legislative initiatives.

Educators are also taking action, signing up for our upcoming energy and climate workshops this summer, to enhance their climate education in the classroom.

Please join us on March 18th and April 30th for two special VIP events as supporters and friends of the Will Steger Foundation:

We look forward to connecting with you soon!


Nicole Rom


val b_3-11-132 Director of Education Kristen Poppleton at a St. Paul Schools Science Workshop day with Superintendent Valeria Silva and Project WET Coordinator April Rust.

Gather around the bonfire or glide across the water this summer with the Will Steger Foundation Summer Institutes for Energy Education and Minnesota’s Changing Climate!  These two professional development opportunities for educators come loaded with curriculum, training, and good times.  Did you know the Next Generation Science Standards will include climate change as required content? Equip your teaching, get the facts, make new connections: Apply today.

On June 16th, following the happy-hour social at the at the Summer Institute for Energy Education, our founder Will Steger will deliver the keynote address, accompanied by J. Drake Hamilton, Science Policy Director at Fresh Energy.

Congratulation’s to Minnesota’s Green Ribbon Schools Finalists! Learn more.

Emerging Leaders

IMG 1908Youth Engagement in Public Policy
Youth leaders are making their voices heard at the Capitol!

MN Youth Environmental Network coordinator, Christy Newell recently testified before a committee on the need for expanding our renewable energy portfolio. Over 80 high school and college students joined the 4th annual Youth Lobby Day at the State Capitol on February 25th, a partnership between the Will Steger Foundation, MPIRG, and the Minnesota Youth Environmental Network in coordination with the Minnesota Clean Energy and Jobs Campaign. Youth lobbied in support of a 10% solar energy standard for the state as well as an expansion of Minnesota’s existing renewable energy standard to 40% by 2030. Guest speakers included Ken Bradley from Environment Minnesota and Erin Stojan-Ruccolo from Fresh Energy. Students also Brightened up the Capitol Rotunda with a rendition of Here Comes the Sun with a large papier-mâché sun and lyrics adapted to the clean energy theme.

Watch the video from the Lobby Day!

Youth Prepare for MN Environmental Congress
Youth across the state are preparing to participate in the Minnesota Environmental Congress, featuring Governor Mark Dayton to be held March 15th in Bloomington, MN. WSF is proud to support youth engagement with our YEA! MN program as well as the Minnesota Youth Environmental Network and MPIRG. Youth leaders are planning a 30 minute presentation to showcase youth-led solutions and a call to action.  This participation follows the Next Generation Environmental Congress, held at the University of Minnesota on February 24th, where 150 youth gathered from across the state to influence the future of Minnesota’s environment, gain recognition as young leaders, and broaden their networks.

Congratulations to WSF Youth Programs Director Abby Fenton who was recently elected to the Energy Action Coalition’s Board of Directors. Energy Action Coalition is a national coalition of 50 youth-led environmental and social justice groups working together to build the youth clean energy and climate movement.


In The News

cycles thumb170CYCLES: Teachers Discovering Climate Change from a Native Perspective
Kristen Poppleton, Director of Education presented at the CYCLES 2nd follow up workshop to the CYCLES cohort through an environmental education perspective.

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freshenergy thumb170Fresh Energy, Will Steger Foundation meet with Governor Dayton
Last fall, Fresh Energy and the Will Steger Foundation hosted eight large public forums across Minnesota focused on clean energy, climate, and health.

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macalester thumb170Macalester College
It’s not surprising that one of the highlights of Mark Riegel’s internship at the Will Steger Foundation (WSF) was meeting the acclaimed polar explorer and climate change activist himself.

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bridge thumb170The Bridge
Director of Education Kristen Poppleton at a St. Paul Schools Science Workshop day with Superintendent Valeria Silva and Project WET Coordinator April Rust.

Read More


logocleanjobsMinnesota’s clean energy legislation is moving forward! Show policy makers that you support clean energy by sending them this message: “I support expanding the use of renewable energy in Minnesota and creating thousands of family-supporting jobs in our state.” Learn more about the campaign:

Find your legislators’ contact information here.

More information about our clean energy policy priorities.

Photo of the Month

YEA! MN co-chair Katie-Mercer Taylor represents WSF at a press conference to announce
a suite of groundbreaking clean energy legislative initiatives.


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